Bacolod church hangs ‘no to death penalty’ tarp

Marchel P. Espina

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Bacolod church hangs ‘no to death penalty’ tarp
The Diocese of Bacolod – responsible for the 'Team Patay' and the 'Thou shall not kill' posters – mounts another social commentary

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – The Diocese of Bacolod, which has been known to take a strong stance on socially relevant issues, mounted a tarpaulin at the entrance of San Sebastian Cathedral on Friday, February 17, to oppose the reimposition of the death penalty.

The banner – with a message “Death Penalty? No, no, no sa Berdugo! Yes, yes, yes sa kay Kristo” (Death Penalty? No, no, no to the Butcher! Yes, yes, yes to Christ) – was hung at the church’s gate to urge the public to oppose the measure pushed by the “super majority” at the House of Representatives, said Father Felix Pasquin, rector of San Sebastian Cathedral.

Opposing capital punishment is a matter of Christian principle that is based on the teachings and commandment of God, he said.

He stressed that the Church is after the rehabilitation of the offenders by giving them another chance. “We have to forgive and give the sinners another chance.”

Pasquin also said they include prayers against the death penalty during the Mass every day.

The rector said Congress should be open to debates and exchanges of opinion: “The purpose of the debate is for lawmakers to reach a concensus that would benefit the people.”

In 2016, the Bacolod diocese mounted a “Thou shall not kill” tarpaulin at the church’s entrance following the rising number of killings of drug suspects.

In 2013, during the election campaign period, the diocese became controversial after it hung “Team Patay, Team Buhay” (Team Dead, Team Alive) tarpaulin. It listed the names of the senatorial bets who were in favor of the reproductive health law so voters wouldn’t vote for them. They also listed the names of lawmakers who fought the measure, so voters would vote for them.

The Commission on Elections ordered the tarpaulin taken down for violating the allowable size of campaign paraphernalia. The Supreme Court, however, ruled in favor of the church, saying that taking down a signage within a private property violated rights to free speech and expression of the petitioner. (READ: Remember ‘Team Patay’? Here’s how it will affect campaigning now) – 



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